Hundreds of airline catering workers protest at JFK, joining nationwide protests on historically busy travel day

For Immediate Release: November 26, 2019
Contact: Yimelka Morales ( 917-561-7504)

Workers and supporters call for American Airlines to address poverty wages, expensive health care in the airline catering industry

New York— Dozens were arrested and nearly 800 more demonstrated at JFK on one of the busiest travel days in the U.S. today—the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The protests were led by UNITE HERE Local 100-represented airline catering workers who provide inflight food and beverage services for major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines. Workers called on American to take urgent and necessary steps to ensure that workers who cater its flights are able to escape poverty and access healthcare. Airline catering workers from Local 100 joined national protests that took place in 17 U.S. cities.

 

Airline catering workers prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served aboard flights for American Airlines and other major U.S. airlines. Though their work is essential to airline operations at JFK, many workers depend on Medicaid for health care or go without any insurance. Meanwhile, American reported a 2018 annual profit of $1.9 billion.

 

“We’re out here protesting across the country because we’re sick and tired of being the lowest-paid and worst-treated workers in the airline industry,” said Nadia Small, who has worked catering flights from JFK for six years. “If this Thanksgiving is hard for travelers, think about our hardship. It’s life and death. Many of us don’t have any health insurance, or we take an expensive, low-quality plan that leaves us struggling with medical debt. We can’t pay our bills. One job should be enough for me and my coworkers, just like it’s enough for most other workers in this billion-dollar airline industry.”

 

Today’s protests are the latest in a series of demonstrations airports across the country calling attention to American Airlines. In addition to JFK, protests and/or acts of nonviolent civil disobedience took place in 17 cities including major airports in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. This past summer UNITE HERE airline catering workers at JFK voted unanimously to strike when released by the National Mediation Board. Federal mediation of contract negotiations continues.

 

Hundreds of airline catering workers at JFK Airport will join thousands protesting at other airports throughout the U.S. on historically busy travel day.

For Immediate Release:

November 20th,2019

Yimelka Morales

917-561-7504

ymorales@100.unitehere.org

 

In what will be, collectively, the largest worker-led demonstration at U.S. airports in years, workers and supporters will call for American Airlines to address poverty wages, expensive health care

WHO: UNITE HERE Local 100 airline catering workers and their supporters.

WHAT: Collectively, the largest demonstration of workers at U.S. airports in years featuring pickets, marches, sit-ins, and die-ins calling on American Airlines to take urgent and necessary steps to ensure that workers who cater its flights are able to escape poverty and access medical care.

WHERE: JFK Airport – Terminal 8.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 26 at 3:00 P.M.

WHY: This protest is set to be the latest in a series of demonstrations by airline catering workers at U.S. airports. Though their work is essential to airline operations, A survey of 581 out of approximately 4,100 Sky Chefs workers serving American Airlines at the carrier’s hubs found that 30% of the workers were uninsured and 35% rely on government-subsidized healthcare for themselves or their kids. Meanwhile, American reported a 2018 annual profit of $1.9 billion. Workers hope that by bringing their message to the many passengers travelling before Thanksgiving, they will motivate American to resolve the labor dispute.

In addition to ongoing protest activity at JFK airport in New York, previous large-scale demonstrations calling attention to American Airlines have already taken place this year in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and Dallas-Ft. Worth—where over 50 were arrested in a civil disobedience near American Airlines’ headquarters and largest hub airport. This past summer UNITE HERE airline catering workers a JFK airport in New York voted overwhelmingly to strike when released by the National Mediation Board. Federal mediation of contract negotiations continues.

Marriott’s Dirty Choice: How “Your Choice” Harms Housekeepers

Opting out of housekeeping for incentives?

A Dirty and Difficult Choice!

Marriott rewards guests for a choice that harms housekeepers.

In this new report about programs that encourage guests to decline housekeeping services in exchange for reward points, housekeepers detail how these programs leave hotel rooms filled with days of filth, expose housekeepers to injury and pain, and destroy their jobs.

Marriot hotels have programs that encourage guests to turn away housekeeping services for rewards such as vouchers and loyalty points claiming that skipping everyday cleaning is good for the environment. But what Marriot and hotels owners are really helping is their budget, not the Earth.

When a guest declines housekeeping services, the hotel isn’t just saving the supplies and water. The hotel’s owner are saving money by not paying the housekeeper to work for that time, too. What’s worse? Dirt, trash and even mold still accumulate, meaning that the housekeeping staff will have to work harder, and use more chemical cleaners, to get the room prepared in the same amount of time that they will have to clean the room after you check out and this is  costing workers income — more than you are saving the planet.

MakeABetterChoiceReportFinal

 

 

 

Thursday, January 23rd General Membership Meetings

Reminder, UNITE HERE Local 100 will hold its General Membership Meetings Thursday, January 23rd at 9:30 am, 3:30 pm, and 5:00 pm at the Local 100 office 275 7th Ave, 16th floor, NYC (between 25th and 26th Streets). Please make an effort to attend. Your participation is important.

One Job Should be Enough!, PHL

Tuesday, October 29th General Membership Meetings

Reminder, UNITE HERE Local 100 will hold its General Membership Meetings Tuesday, October 29th at 9:30 am, 3:30 pm, and 5:00 pm at the Local 100 office 275 7th Ave, 16th floor, NYC (between 25th and 26th Streets). Please make an effort to attend. Your participation is important.